Why did my wyandotte hen die?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kimlovesbarnevelders, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. kimlovesbarnevelders

    kimlovesbarnevelders Hatching

    Jul 19, 2010
    I went out to do chores just now to find my hen dead. [​IMG] I got her a couple months ago from a breeder at a show; he said she was older but would still lay eggs for me. She was a nice looking girl but she never actually laid for me until last week.

    It's been very hot outside--reaching in the 100's for the heat index--and that may have been the culprit. She was laying next to the water. It was pretty dirty but I change it every day. I don't know, could she have just been too old to stand the heat?

    Her eyes have always looked droopy so maybe she wasn't healthy. When I checked her out and her skin was very yellow (that could just be her skin color) and her comb was very purple. Other than that she was normal looking.

    And another thing is that I've been feeding her grower since she's mixed in with some 5 month old birds. I thought that was okay, but could it have been her diet?

    So help me out: was it probably the heat that got her or did she have some disease or worm? Should I worry about the rest of my flock? [​IMG] Thanks for your help.

  2. Newsworthy

    Newsworthy In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2011
    Really, for a hen that is laying she should have layer pellets. Her comb should not be purple, you generally only see that if they are very ill. She might have died from egg binding, or heat exhaustion. Or any number of reasons, hard to tell for sure. When you get new chickens you should always keep them in quarantine for a month. I would keep an eye on the rest of the birds for any sign of illness. With the extreme heat, you might want to fill the water more than once a day. I have been putting shallow wading pans in the birds' runs and even making mud puddles for them to cool off in. They appreciate watermelon too:D
  3. CariLynn

    CariLynn Songster

    Aug 23, 2010
    State of confusion
    Just wanted to add that you can go to Wal Mart and get cheap D battery operated fans that you can use also to help keep the chickens cool. I have one small one in the coop pointed at where they lay eggs and another in their yard in case they want to stand in front of it. While it may not help a lot, it does help some. Also, I go out and check my chickens at least 2 times a day, if their water runs low I fill the smaller bowls in the yard and the bigger metal water container and make sure that is always full.

    Yep, mine all love watermelon, cantalope, any soft fruit that is cold and juicy.
  4. Echobabe

    Echobabe Songster

    Oct 30, 2007
    It sounds like a combination of issues.
    -She was probably an older lady. When hens start laying, they need extra calcium to make the shell and lay the egg properly. That's what they put int layer food. The starter food for chicks does not contain enough calcium.

    -Then there is the heat--animals can't get away from it like we can. You either have to find a way to cool their coop (fans) and help their bodies cool down with fresh, cool water. Or give cool food snacks (like the suggested watermelon). I bought a shallow pan from the dollar store yesterday and filled it cool water, threw in some raisins and periodically added some ice cubes throughout the day. I figure the raisins added some sugar, minerals and interest. Often they just walked into it to cool their feet down. My girls are barely foraging in this heat. They spend the day in the shade and only get up to lay an egg or take a drink.

    I also change the water in the coop 2x daily and keep a pie dish full of water by my back door. That way, if something happens to the water in the coop (it gets dumped or dirty) the birds know where else to go to get a drink.

    I don't know about the purple comb :-(

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